WSU Falters Then Falls To Colorado


A late surge by Colorado (12-6, 2-4) proved to be the difference against Washington State (10-8, 1-4) in a Pac-12 men’s basketball contest played on the home floor of the Cougs. When the final buzzer sounded in Beasley Colisem the scoreboard read Colorado 58 – WSU 49.

To be successful in the Pac-12, regardless of sport, you have to defend home advantage then look to pick up road wins whenever and wherever possible.

In a hard fought Pac-12 basketball game, it was the Buffaloes who were able to sustain the effort necessary to earn a victory. Frankly, the Cougars simply ran out of gas down the stretch. The 38-minutes of playing time for senior Brock Motum coupled with 34-minutes by senior Mike Ladd took it’s toll.

"“I thought fatigue played a factor in the outcome.” – WSU Coach Ken Bone"

Washington State trailed virtually the entire first half. Both teams played outstanding defensive ball which led to some meager offensive stats going into halftime. The Cougs were an abysmal 8-27 shooting for 29.6%. One telling stat for WSU jumps off the page. They were 1-2 from the free throw line in the opening stanza. Translation? The guys in the white uniforms weren’t driving to the bucket. Sorry, but the inability to score going to the rack won’t get any team far in conference play.

Coach Bone was asked during his post game conference whether his team lacked leadership on the court. He responded, “It’s disappointing the way we played tonight, but (leadership) hasn’t been an issue.”

Offensive leadership last night was a significant issue.

Late in the game Colorado had guys who wanted the ball. The Cougars on the floor had little of that desire. Big man Brock Motum clearly worked his tail off to try and get any opening to put up a shot. Double and triple teamed, he simply couldn’t do it on his own.

Once again, the lack of a point guard who can run an offense and get the ball to teammates in a good position to score was sorely missed by Washington State. Of the 20-shots made by the Cougs, only 6 were generated by passes resulting in assists.

In a team sport, it’s amazing WSU was still in the game with less than 5-minutes to play in regulation. The Cougs were right there at 44-48 with 4:37 remaining. Colorado used a 10-3 finish to notch their second conference win.

"“If we execute well and share the ball, pass, set screens, get open and get a good shot, that’s about all you do. You hope it goes in. But if you’re doing the right things to create a good opportunity for yourself or the team, that’s what we want every possession.” – Coach Ken Bone"

No question the Cougs were frustrated for forty minutes. Until someone for WSU steps up to take charge at the offensive end of the floor, frustration will continue for the head coach, players and fans.

Catching Colorado while they are still working to define their identity was a tremendous opportunity missed by WSU. This coming week they will travel to Oregon where they will face the hottest team in the nation in Eugene, then take on a talented Oregon State squad in Corvallis.

Until Coach Bone can count on someone to take charge effectively when his team has the basketball, effort and passionate play will be an exercise in futility for Washington State.



Washington State Notes:

· Mike Ladd finished with 13 points and has scored in double figures in each of the last six games.
· Will DiIorio was 1-for-2 from the 3-point arc…he is now 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc on the season and 5-for-8 on his career. DiIorio was 3-for-4 from the field and was one point shy of his career high with 8 points.
· Junior Longrus recorded a career-high 3 blocked shots in just 10 minutes of action…his previous high was 2 blocks.